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Pops: A LIfe of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout

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The challenge for any biographer approaching a subject whose life story is ingrained in

the world’s cellular memory is to introduce something new to that tale. For Pops, his exhaustive Louis Armstrong bio, author Terry Teachout benefited from unprecedented full access to a sizable collection of private reel-to-reel tape recordings Armstrong made over the years to while away the hours. Now the property of Queens College in New York, which houses the Armstrong archives, the tapes reveal a somewhat darker side of the most famous jazzman who ever lived, a Satchmo-a.k.a. “Pops” to those who knew him best-who held grudges, swore a blue streak and seethed at mistreatment both real and perceived.

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